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NWSL Expansion Draft, USMNT ends up with a tie, and more: Freedom Kicks for 11/13/2020

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Christen Press and Tobin Heath to Louisville? Well...

West Ham United Women v Manchester United Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Good morning! I had a dream last night that I went to a major business school with a character not dissimilar to Jordan Belfort (you know, the DiCaprio meme/movie character), and that after a full year I was leaving school to become a pro wrestler. Instantly became jacked once this decision was made.

And on that bewildering note, let’s go soccer:

The list of potential D.C. United coaches is getting a bit shorter. Not “they’re already down to four candidates” like I saw from outside the DMV, but shorter. No big surprises here, but it does feel like we’re approaching the point where the candidates will be from CONCACAF or CONMEBOL.

Racing Louisville 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft live thread | Black and Red United
Take a look back at our reactions as the Racing Louisville made their selections during a busy hour last night. The Washington Spirit lost Katie Lund and Katie McClure, who both finished up their rookie years with the club back in October. Two promising players, to be sure, but I think it’s safe to say we were expecting players who were closer to (or actually do have) starting roles to be in Christy Holly’s sights.

The 2020 NWSL expansion draft: all of Racing Louisville’s picks | All for XI
Here’s a look at the whole draft, including some notes about the more curious choices (Louisville took two Australian national team players after just about all of them said they were moving to Europe because the season is longer). It’s also worth noting that the choice to take Tobin Heath and Christen Press constitutes a gigantic gamble:

If those two prefer not to play for Racing, it means Louisville turned down an extra $150,000 of allocation money (that’s 50% of a team’s yearly allotment in the NWSL) to hope that Angel City FC or some other team wants to make the trade worth their while...which is no guarantee at all.

It also means that they left some really excellent players on the Portland roster. When I threw together an expansion draft shortlist, the Thorns that were unprotected constituted literally 13 of the players I’d have been interested in taking if I were Louisville.

USMNT plays to scoreless draw against Wales | Stars and Stripes FC
A lot was made about the USMNT’s draw with Wales. Several young players debuted, Sergiño Dest showed tons of swagger, their pressure and counter-pressure were both smothering...but I’d also like to point out that the USMNT finished a game against a team that is hardly a giant with 7 shot attempts in 90 minutes. There were fun elements here, but this was also not the party people made it out to be on Twitter. The bar remains low.

Moving past my Oscar the Grouch take on the game itself, this is a lovely gesture in memory of the late Daryl Grove.

Lynn Williams is ready for change on and off the field | All for XI
Lynn Williams on, among other things, the issues NWSL has with talking about race when many teams have such a small number of Black players.

Greenville’s John Harkes Named League One’s Coach of the Year | USLLeagueOne.com
Former United captain John Harkes won a title this season with Greenville, and it’s pretty hard to argue with him being named Coach of the Year when his team ran away with the league.

ESPN FC’s Scottish announcer goes berserk after Euros qualification | ESPN
In more news Harkes will probably enjoy, Scotland’s men’s team qualified for Euro 2021 on penalties. But don’t say that Scotland is back in a major tournament for the first time since 1998, since their women’s team qualified for both the last Euro and the last World Cup.

Alright this has gone on long enough. Try not to turn into a muscle monster! I don’t know if this is practical advice or not but still, do try.